In Good Company
Business Today|April 18, 2021
ManageMents are integrating their corporate Milestones with what is good for people and the planet too
SONAL KHETARPAL

P Venkat Rao, 46, a resident of Dantelaboru village in Bhadradri Kothagudem district, Telangana, started cotton farming after Class XII. The work was fraught with challenges. The yield was poor. The crop would get infected every now and then. The income was just enough to pay for basic needs of his family. His life changed when he saw a neighbour, Ramana, turn his cotton farm into a eucalyptus plantation and supply to ITC. In 2005, he did likewise, with ITC supporting him with knowledge of eucalyptus farming, soil testing and fast-growing clonal saplings. When he harvested the crop four years later, he earned ₹3 lakh. The second harvest, in 2013, got him ₹18 lakh. There has been no looking back after that. “I own five tractors that I give on rent,” he says. His income is now ₹ 7,000 a day, from ₹ 500 a day in 2005. He works with ITC as part of the company’s forestry programme which helps marginal farmers grow eucalyptus that is used to make high-quality pulp for its paper business.

Companies across sectors are redefining their raison d'etre or ‘reason for being.’ While revenue and growth milestones are still an integral part of their existence, more and more of them are linking their corporate strategy with goals driven by higher purpose – be it targets on livelihoods impacted, diversity, inclusion or sustainability, and making leaders accountable for meeting these goals. “Companies can no longer look at brand purpose as an advertising campaign that will be soon forgotten. It has to be a better way of doing things that is integrated in all facets of the business,” says Namrata Rana, Director-Strategy and Brand at sustainable experience transformation agency Futurescape.

Taking care of greater good also makes business sense. In 2019, FMCG major Unilever said its purpose-led brands (that have an environmental or social purpose) were growing 69 per cent faster than the rest of its businesses and accounting for 75 per cent of the company’s growth.

There are indirect benefits too. Purpose-led firms are also able to better attract and retain talent. A 2016 global study by PwC, Putting Purpose to Work, found that millennials are more than 5.3 times likely to stay with a company if they have a strong connection with its purpose. “Early to mid-level managers, not just in India but worldwide, are asking questions about what the company stands for and how its activities impact society,” says Rana.

The trend has accelerated after the pandemic, which has increased awareness about healthy living and conscious consumption. A study of 2,000 respondents in India by Futurescape found that 65 per cent consumers want to buy from companies perceived to be more responsible towards environment and social issues.

Value Creation

Income inequality and climate change have triggered widespread criticism of capitalist paradigms across the world. Companies today are expected to safeguard interests of all stakeholders in the value chain and not just equity holders. The other groups include customers, employees, suppliers/vendors and surrounding communities.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BUSINESS TODAYView All

Exiting The Easy Money Circle

THE RBI ADOPTED MULTIPLE REGULATORY FORBEARANCE MEASURES AND ULTRA-LOOSE MONETARY POLICY TO COUNTER ECONOMIC HEADWINDS. NOW IT HAS TO WORK OUT AN EXIT ROADMAP

10+ mins read
Business Today
May 02, 2021

FACTORY TO THE WORLD?

THE PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE SCHEME AIMS TO BUILD AN INDIAN MANUFACTURING BASE ACROSS 13 KEY SECTORS. WHAT WORKS. WHAT DOESN’T.

10+ mins read
Business Today
May 02, 2021

Betting On BoT

WORSENING NHAI FINANCES ARE FORCING THE GOVERNMENT TO GO BACK TO THE BUILD-OPERATE-TRANSFER MODEL FOR ROAD PROJECTS

6 mins read
Business Today
May 02, 2021

Dead Cat Bounce?

THE LATEST BUSINESS TODAY BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX (BCI) SHOWS SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT IN OVERALL SENTIMENT DESPITE THE PESSIMISM AROUND ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS ISSUES

4 mins read
Business Today
May 02, 2021

A Rough Ride

Once the leader in SUVs, Mahindra has lost its crown. The company is resetting its gameplan to stay clear of me-too products, replacing them with vehicles intrinsic to its DNA. Can it rise again?

10+ mins read
Business Today
May 02, 2021

“IF YOU HAVE THE BEST PRODUCT, YOU CAN FIND A WAY TO WIN ALL THE TIME”

John Bayne, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Consumer Electronics, Corning Incorporated

1 min read
Business Today
April 18, 2021

On The Slow Coach

Fifteen years in the making, only 650 km of the dedicated freight corridor has opened. Meeting the 3,381-km target by June 2022 appears a distant dream

9 mins read
Business Today
April 18, 2021

OILY MESS

A sharp increase in global crude oil prices has pushed retail rates of petrol and diesel to historic highs. Taxes are partly to be blamed, but reducing excise duties may not be easy for a cash-strapped government

10+ mins read
Business Today
April 18, 2021

Keeping Guard

Private security and facility management industry has bounced back from pandemic pangs, and is prepping for the big leap

7 mins read
Business Today
April 18, 2021

In Good Company

ManageMents are integrating their corporate Milestones with what is good for people and the planet too

8 mins read
Business Today
April 18, 2021
RELATED STORIES

Reincarnation And Realpolitik

China, India, and the U.S. are vying to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 19, 2021

An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan

The Little Red Train

10+ mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

A Room for Dad

Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her

8 mins read
Guideposts
April 2021

THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1

YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.

6 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

WOUNDS AND THE WOMB

JULIE PETERS explores how to heal a relationship with the sacred womb, a place of death, life, and possibilities.

8 mins read
Spirituality & Health
Mar/Apr 2021

BE SQUIRRELY

Giant squirrels, giant lessons? Animal chaplain SARAH BOWEN explores what squirrels can show us about mindfulness.

4 mins read
Spirituality & Health
Mar/Apr 2021

E8 Caste and the Indian Tech Ivies

IIT grads are highly sought after in Silicon Valley. Are they bringing deep-rooted prejudices with them?

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 15, 2021

Young Guns: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Over time, mankind has degraded the planet's most valuable resource - its atmosphere. Now it is time to do something

8 mins read
Industry Leaders
March 2021

Life Changing

I was happily married, happily employed, just plain happy. Until the accident

8 mins read
Guideposts
February 2021

IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)

Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.

1 min read
Alternative Medicine
February 2021